Greg Mortenson grew up on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, from 1958 to 1973. His father established a teaching hospital, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, and his mother founded the International School Moshi.
Mortenson was a U.S. Army medic in Germany during the Cold War (1977-1979), where he received the Army Commendation Medal, and later graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1983, and pursued graduate studies in neurophysiology. His lifelong interest in mountaineering culminated in a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, the world’s second highest mountain, which changed his life.
Since 1993, Mortenson has dedicated his life as a humanitarian devoted to promote education, especially for girls, in remote, volatile regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. As of 2007, Mortenson has established 58 +/-